Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

Carpenter hurls best Cardinal start of season

Chris Carpenter struck out 11 of the 29 batters he faced to help the Cardinals win their critical series against the Reds and shave off a game in the standings. He came up big when the team needed a hoss-like start — so big, it was the seventh-best start by Fielding-Independent Game Score of his decorated career:

Rk Date Team Opp IP BB SO HR BF FIGS
1 6/25/2005 STL PIT 9 0 11 0 29 80
2 5/25/2009 STL MIL 8 0 10 0 25 79
3 9/4/2001 TOR NYY 9 0 12 0 33 78
4 7/17/2005 STL HOU 9 0 9 0 28 77
5 4/5/2001 TOR TBD 8 1 11 0 27 76
5 6/14/2005 STL TOR 9 1 10 0 28 76
7 9/5/2010 STL CIN 7 1/3 0 11 0 29 75
8 9/7/2009 STL MIL 9 2 10 0 29 72
8 8/12/2009 STL CIN 7 0 10 0 29 72
8 7/16/1998 TOR CHW 8 1 10 0 29 72
8 9/1/2006 STL PIT 9 0 8 0 31 72
8 7/5/2004 STL CIN 7 1/3 0 8 0 26 72
8 7/14/2006 STL LAD 9 0 7 0 29 72

For the 2010 Cardinals, it was the best start of the season:

Rk Pitcher Date Opp IP BB SO HR BF FIGS
1 Chris Carpenter 9/5/2010 CIN 7 1/3 0 11 0 29 75
2 Kyle Lohse 5/1/2010 CIN 7 0 8 0 26 71
2 Jaime Garcia 8/22/2010 SFG 9 0 6 0 28 71
4 Adam Wainwright 6/4/2010 MIL 9 1 8 0 30 70
5 Chris Carpenter 5/7/2010 PIT 7 0 8 0 28 69
6 Chris Carpenter 4/21/2010 ARI 7 2 10 0 27 68
7 Adam Wainwright 7/22/2010 PHI 6 0 6 0 23 67
8 Adam Wainwright 4/12/2010 HOU 8 1 7 0 29 66
8 Brad Penny 4/14/2010 HOU 7 0 4 0 23 66
8 Adam Wainwright 4/18/2010 NYM 9 2 9 0 33 66
8 Jeff Suppan 7/31/2010 PIT 5 1/3 0 5 0 20 66
8 Adam Wainwright 8/18/2010 MIL 7 1 7 0 26 66

Curiously, although Carpenter has posted the top overall and three of the top six games by FIGS, he is only fifth in average FIGS among Cardinal starters on the season:

Pitcher Avg FIGS
Wainwright 55.1
Penny 51.8
Garcia 51.4
Westbrook 50.4
Carpenter 49.8
Lohse 44.9
Hawksworth 41.0
Suppan 38.7
Walters 35.5
Ottavino 32.0

And the list also may indicate why Kyle Lohse will start Tuesday in the second game of the Brewers series. After Jeff Suppan‘s latest, 30-FIGS outing in Houston, Lohse represents the lesser of two evils. With the second-best start of the season, though, Lohse can perhaps make like Carpenter and toss another beauty in crunchtime.

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